Updated freedom of speech policy has been passed

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Updated freedom of speech policy has been passed

Lucas Koprowski, News Editor

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The First Amendment rights of all students have been revamped on the College of DuPage campus to allow more open and comprehensive protection to student’s freedom of speech. The college has changed including two major differences. First, students are now able to hand out printed materials on campus without permission of the college. Second, students are now allowed to table without a permit or reservation in tabling locations on campus.

           

Spearheading this movement to change the policy on campus was the President of the Libertarians on Campus, a chapter of Turning Point USA Joe Enders. This was initiated after he felt his freedom of speech was infringed on earlier in this academic year. On Sept. 18, Enders and his fellow club mates were told to stop handing out flyers to people on COD grounds by the campus police. The flyers showed an outline of the mainland United States with an american flag within it with the caption “The Real Freedom of Speech Zone.” He was told that he must be granted permission from Student Life to be able to distribute printed materials on campus, which he did not previous to distributing the flyers. The Courier spoke with Enders and other club members for it’s 16 issue.

           

The new rules were adopted on Feb. 2 by Acting Interim President Joseph Collins. After Enders spoke at public comment at the Feb. 18 regular board of trustees meeting, Collins said the COD Shared Governance Council had officially passed the rule change. Following Enders, six other club members went up to the podium during public comment to thank the administration for passing the change.

 

In addition to the the new printed materials rule, the new tabling policy allows for students to use a table on campus with presentation materials, when a spot in the specific tabling locations is vacant. The locations are specific hallways in the first and second floor of the Student Resource Center, as well as the main lobby of the Health and Science Center.

 

Reservations for tables are made at Student Life and are still first come first serve. Also, if there are multiple reservation conflicts on any given day the college has the right to process the reserves in the following order: official college sponsored events and activities, recognized student organizations, events and activities, student events and activities, all other college community events and activities, and non-college affiliated speakers. However, if there are tables not being used on any given day, any student is now allowed to use those tables without reservation.

           

Enders said he believes that the college has taken the right step in their policy referendum. “I think this was a great victory for the college, because I think that the Constitution should be our number one priority as students. Without our rights we do not have academic freedom. If we disregard our own Bill of Rights, by no means are we having academic freedom, which should be our No. 1 priority of every college institution.”

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